Thursday, December 27, 2007

Belize Government recognizes work in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean

Ms. Anita Zetina - Chairperson of the Relief and Supplies Management Committee of NEMO, the National Emergency Management Organization of the Belize government - issued a certificate of appreciation to Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers for outstanding and selfless service in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Business Updates

Excerpts from the 12/24 Packer article by Abraham Mahshie

Construction on the Brooks Tropicals' new headquarters in Belize has been pushed back slightly from February to March because of Hurricane Dean.

Brooks is also installing a custom-built-papaya-packing machine at the facility that will allow the company to triple the volume it had before the storm.

"We're really committed to growing papayas in Belize and committed to growing this business in the future," Mary Ostlund, director of marketing said.

Happy Holidays!

Belize buildings are taking shape

As some of the outer buildings are given attention, some of the overall details, such as sidewalks, building drainage, and grading for parking lots, are being worked.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A great starfruit crop waiting to be picked

The starfruit's appearance this time of the year is special. What other fruit can bring 'stars' to our holiday tables?
Kevin Bryan, VP of Tropical Groves' Operation snapped this photo of one of our starfruit trees on the west coast of Florida. He reports that it's going to be an amazing crop.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Central American Produce Poised for Growth

Excerpts from article in Produce Business, November 2007 by Duane Craig

Central America is an important region for keeping the produce bins full throughout the year. Its fruits and vegetables help fill consumer desires for variety and healthful foods.

Outside the U.S. growing seasons "getting produce from Central America, is as close to the US market as you're going to get. Less travel means better shelf life and fewer worries about quality. I'm not surprised that Central America has become central to the retail produce section," says Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals, LLC, Homestead, Florida.

Hurricanes Impact

Late summer hurricanes that struck the area appear to have left a mixed bag of crop damage in their wakes.

"We had considerable crop damage, but we are much more optimistic than we were at first," explains Ostlund. "We're seeing younger fields and fields that were further south of the storm having survived. The day after the hurricane we had a 90-member cleanup crew out in the fields resetting trees. We started planting literally two days after the storm." She credits the company's experience with hurricanes at its base in Florida key to minimizing crop damage.

"We were able to bring all our seedlings from our nursery into the packinghouse," Ostlund continues, "so we literally have a full complement of seedlings to go right back into the field. We're replanting with seedlings that we feel have the best in taste and better shelf life."

Brooks has more than five years of research and development into the new plants.

On the Horizon

"Next year we'll be ramping up volume in our Caribbean Sunrise and Caribbean Red papayas. But for the entire year, we think we'll have larger volumes than last year," said Ostlund.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fairchild Botanic Gardens sets up coconut booth with Brooks Tropicals' help

Fairchild Botanic Gardens has an event called the Ramble every year. It's one of the 'must-go' events in the South Dade area.

Every year Brooks Tropicals gives coconuts for their coconut booth where your refreshment choice can be a pina colada or coconut milk straight from the source.